Ike Turner was a musician and songwriter who rose to fame as the leader of the rock and roll band, The Kings of Rhythm. He is best known for his song “Rocket 88” which was released in 1951.
Ike Turner was an American musician, singer, songwriter, bandleader, and pianist. He is best known for his work in the 1950s and 1960s with his then-wife Tina Turner.
Ike Turner is unquestionably one of rock’s most dehumanized characters. When most people hear his name, the first thing that springs to mind is “abusive spouse,” not “soul star” or “rock & roll pioneer.” According to folklore, Turner was a despotic monster who used physical brutality and psychological intimidation to keep his much more brilliant wife Tina under control, all the while feeding his insatiable cravings for cocaine and women. Turner did a lot to earn that reputation, according to most reports; he spent time in jail owing to his drug issues, and his own denials of Tina’s accusations of abuse have been contradictory at best throughout the years. Turner’s artistic reputation as an instrumentalist and bandleader, however, is harmed by this portrayal of him as a monster. Turner paved the way for rock & roll as a pianist in the early 1950s; he was also an unique guitarist with a cutting, unpleasant tone and was one of the first to use the whammy bar into his sound. True, he was nothing near the vocalist Tina Turner was, and it’s likely that she was his ticket to fame; furthermore, his music, though sometimes creative, had a generic feel to it that made chart appearances tough. His disciplinarian approach as a bandleader, on the other hand, resulted in undeniably tight, well-drilled ensembles and some of the most exhilarating live shows the R&B world had ever seen — centered around Tina, yes, but spectacles nonetheless — when it wasn’t manifesting itself in darker fashion. Even though Turner isn’t the most likable figure, his musical talents and faults need the same impartial assessment as anybody else’s.
Izear Luster is a fictional character. Turner, Jr. was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, in the heart of the segregated South, on November 5, 1931. Turner was certainly toughened by growing up in a difficult environment, where his father was battered to death by a mob of furious whites. He discovered his passion for music at a young age, learning boogie-woogie piano from his idol, Pinetop Perkins, and as a teenager, he negotiated his way into a DJ spot on the local radio station, where he played everything from Louis Jordan’s jump blues to country & western. While still in high school, he established his first band, the Kings of Rhythm, and by the late 1940s, he had a full band. The Kings of Rhythm went to Sam Phillips’ Sun studio in Memphis in 1951 to record. Their original song “Rocket 88” (whose composition is still debated) was recorded with saxophonist Jackie Brenston on lead vocals and published as Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats, not Ike Turner & His Kings of Rhythm. “Rocket 88” soared to the top of the R&B charts and is widely considered as the first genuine rock & roll song by many critics. Brenston went on to have a failed solo career, while Turner and his band became session regulars in Memphis, backing legendary bluesmen such as Howlin’ Wolf (“How Many More Years”), Elmore James, Otis Rush (“Double Trouble,” “All Your Love”), Robert Nighthawk, Buddy Guy, and Sonny Boy Williamson II, as well as a variety of Sun artists. Turner moved from piano to guitar in the early 1950s, and he also worked as a talent scout for the Bihari Brothers’ Los Angeles-based Modern Records, where he helped musicians like Howlin’ Wolf and B.B. King gain early breakthroughs.
Turner relocated the Kings of Rhythm to East St. Louis in the mid-’50s, where they climbed to the top of the local R&B scene; Brenston returned in 1955, and the group continued their session work. Turner recorded under the names Icky Renrut and Lover Boy on labels such as Flair, RPM, and Federal, as well as under the aliases Icky Renrut and Lover Boy. During this time, the Kings of Rhythm performed with a rotating group of singers, adopting a revue style for their live performances. One of them was Anna Mae Bullock, a young vocalist from Tennessee who met Turner in 1956. After getting pregnant by the band’s sax player, she joined the revue and moved into Turner’s home; shortly after, she and Turner started their own relationship and had a child of their own, married in 1958.
Turner’s new (and last) wife, Tina, had her first lead vocal opportunity in late 1959, when she recorded “A Fool in Love” for the Sue label. The song was a huge hit on the R&B charts the next year, reaching at number two. Turner believed he’d found a potential breakthrough star and renamed the group the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, with Tina as the main attraction. It took a little for everyone to settle in, but the songs kept coming: “I Idolize You,” “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine,” “Poor Fool,” and “Tra La La La La La” all made the R&B Top Ten, a streak that lasted until 1962. (With the exception of “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine,” all of the songs were written by Turner.) Dance With Ike & Tina Turner & Their Kings of Rhythm Band was released in 1962, and it was an all-instrumental album that featured Turner’s unexpected guitar performance at its finest. Over the following several years, Ike & Tina recorded for a variety of independent labels as they became one of the hardest-working and most popular groups on the so-called chitlin circuit; nevertheless, their chart fortunes dwindled as Turner’s original material became more standard-issue.
At the same time, Turner was succumbing to the lure of fame; he acquired a serious cocaine addiction, which, when combined with his dominating nature and quick temper, made for a dangerous combination. Turner became more aggressive, according to Tina’s book, hitting her regularly and even burning her with cigarettes and coffee if she went out of line. Although Turner denies the seriousness of Tina’s allegations, it’s worth mentioning that he had a reputation for being tough. In 1966, when producer Phil Spector attempted a commercial comeback with Tina, he struck a deal with Turner: in exchange for being allowed to record Tina, Ike would receive full credit and billing on the records, but he would not be allowed to enter the studio or interfere with the finished recordings. Ike was completely uninvolved in Spector’s work with Tina Turner, which resulted in the epic “River Deep – Mountain High,” which is today considered as one of rock’s best songs.
When Ike & Tina were asked to open for the Rolling Stones in 1969, Turner recognized that the Revue’s harsh, ugly style of soul music had become more acceptable to white rock fans as circumstances had changed. Turner integrated current rock & roll covers into the Revue’s repertoire as a result, giving them a fresh lease of life. Ike & Tina’s chart fortunes were restored by covers of “Come Together,” “I Want to Take You Higher,” and “Proud Mary,” particularly “Proud Mary,” which became their first Top Five mainstream song in 1971 and also won a Grammy. Turner’s off-stage issues, on the other hand, were taking their toll on the act; “Nutbush City Limits,” a song written by Tina, would be their last big success in 1973, and Tina walked out on him in the midst of a 1975 tour.
The divorce of the Turners was completed the following year, and Ike never fully recovered from his grief. For a while, he stopped traveling to focus on his recording studio, Bolic, which he founded in Los Angeles in 1970. He was too used to life on the road, so he joined a new band that, predictably, failed to match his previous success; he also recorded a couple of solo albums on Red Lightnin’. Turner’s cocaine addiction depleted his income to the point that his recording studio burnt down in 1982. He, too, got into trouble with the law, and was jailed many times for mainly drug-related crimes. He was unable to attend his and Tina’s joint induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 because he was spending time in jail. Turner gave away all of his rights to Tina’s autobiography when it was turned into the 1993 film What’s Love Got to Do With It, enabling the filmmakers to take dramatic liberties with the story if they so desired. After being freed from jail, Turner tried a comeback, remarried, and eventually conquered his addictions to live a clean and sober life. He attempted to keep up with the times musically at first, but after traveling as a pianist and guitarist with Joe Louis Walker, he recognized that there was a greater need for his original style and created a new version of the Kings of Rhythm. In 1999, he released his autobiography, Takin’ Back My Name, and in 2001, he released a new album, Here and Now, which was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Traditional Blues Album category and won many W.C. Handy Awards (the blues equivalent of the Grammys) including Comeback Album of the Year. Five years later, Risin’ with the Blues was nominated for a Grammy in the same category.
Ike Turner, born in 1931, is an American musician and record producer. He was the founder of Tina Turner’s career. Reference: tina turner net worth.
Frequently Asked Questions
What was Ike Turners first hit?
What happened to Ike Turner after Tina left him?
Ike Turner was a musician, who was married to Tina Turner. He died in 2007.
Where is Ike Turner originally from?
Ike Turner was born in Texas, but he grew up in Arkansas.
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